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Regret and guilt

Discussion in 'Doberman Talk and Discussions' started by t89, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. t89

    t89 Novitiate


    Just signed up to the forum as I need some support after I gave away a puppy which I purchased last week. I feel as if I’ve done the wrong thing because I panicked.

    Long story short, my girlfriend and I wanted to get a puppy. We live in a city centre with a park across our road. We both work from 8-16:30 with my gf coming home at 12 to have lunch. We were hoping to train the puppy to do her business on our balcony. All I can say is it was pretty eye-opening and overwhelming. I knew full well that I’d be up through the night and that accidents would happen but I just thought I’d be good with it. We live on the top floor of a 4 story block apartments. It was a real pain taking her out but after a while I got used it. Anyway, I quickly realised that it was becoming too much for me and that walking her on a lead was a nightmare. I felt the best thing I could have done at this stage was to send her back. We ended up giving it to a family member who lived in a rural area. When I visited a day after to see her she was roaming their yard and looked so happy. I quickly realised that she needs open space to run free. Anyway, that didn’t work out for other reasons so I brought her back to my apartment to return her to the breeder. The night before she was due to go she had improved in terms of peeing and pooping outside and had also sort-of stopped barking at people and any object that moved (I read on here that this is quite normal and it is usually because she wants to investigate and socialise to say hello). So now I’ve sent her back. I feel awful. I just thought that an apartment life and what I could offer her was just not enough. I know people make apartment living work but I felt that I would always think that she could have had more ever since I saw her having so much fun in a rural setting.

    Perhaps some of the details of the dog and breeder had some red flags. Please let me know if any of the following should have been a warning to me.

    - the puppy was 4 months old
    - she was allowed to roam the breeders outdoor enclosed yard with her siblings, mother and father
    - the breeder said she would always ward off people outside of their gate
    - the breeder said it would have been better to get her at 2 months old

    I’m wondering whether the barking at random people and objects may have been less if we had got her at 2 months and she had not been allowed to bark at anyone passing at their gate. I know they are territorial and perhaps this was just natural.

    I have always wanted a dog but I’m not sure if I have the correct set up. Perhaps this is a lesson and that if I am to get another dog I need to persevere.

    Best wishes
  2. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Greetings! You didn't say but I'm assuming you had a doberman puppy? It sounds like you just weren't prepared. Any kind of puppy is a lot of work. Just like having a newborn baby. Read up on our puppy forum here for more advice.:D

    I have to say, teaching a dog to potty on your balcony doesn't seem like the right thing to do. A large dog can have a lot of urine. I'm sure your neighbors below would not appreciate urine dropping down from above. :wideyed: I understand having a dog in an apartment, four flights up can be difficult for walking a dog. I'm sure some people manage it. It takes a lot of discipline on the part of the owner. Dobermans especially need a lot of exercise!

    I give the breeder credit for taking back your dog. That doesn't always happen. Perhaps sometime in the future your situation will be different and you can welcome another dog.:paw:
    • Like Like x 4
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  3. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    I wouldn’t feel guilty if I were in your shoes. That living arrangement would be very difficult with a large breed dog. Especially a doberman who really needs to run outside. They are truly the happiest when they are prancing around the flowers.

    I don’t think there were warning signs. Age doesn’t matter, behavior is trainable.

    Honestly, if I wasn't lucky enough to be renting a single family home I wouldn’t get any high energy or large breed dog. Same with off leash running time. If I didn’t have a good spot for that I think I would be ripping my hair out with my boy.

    Maybe look into a smaller breed? don’t feel guilty. There are so many people out there that would have forced an arrangement that wouldn’t be in the interest of the dog, for their own selfish reasons. You did what you had to do, don’t beat yourself up.
    • Like Like x 4
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  4. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Knowing what I know now, there is no way I would try to raise a Doberman in the setting you describe. People can do it but it is not a good idea for the Doberman.

    Now I did not get a calm, laid back Doberman. I got a jacked up bull that loves to play/run at Mach12. If this guy does not get his exercise and his space, then it just going against his nature of who he is.

    I think that all of these points you posted immediately put you into a negative disposition to raise a 4month old who was use to freedom and space.

    To be honest with you, I really applaud your acknowledgment that you were overwhelmed with the situation and made changes for the sake of the Doberman.

    Could it be done?? Probably so, but if I were to do it, then there is no way I would have a full time job. I would have to give him a shitload of time to properly provide a strong bond and a strong obedience foundation. There animals are very velcro social and must have constant interaction with their owners. If this need is not filled then they become destructive and develop bad behavioral issues. I truly believe this is how the Doberman has gotten such a bad reputation. People think that “anybody” can raise a Doberman and put them in the back yard and it’s all good. Can’t do this.....they MUST have social interaction, they must be trained with obedience and they must have a job and feel needed. Not saying that you were going to isolate and abandon him, but I don’t think your environment is the best to help you with a difficult situation.

    I say to get a more docile dog that is okay with being a couch inside dog or possibly move off the 4th floor balcony.

    Give you credit though, you made a good call. A hard, emotional decision to make but you made the right decision.
    • Agree Agree x 6
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  5. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Making mistakes is human, we all do it.
    Making your mistakes right is in this case, not only right but humane.
    Not that it makes a hill of beans from some random person on the other side of the world, but much respect. :thumbsup2:

    And as @MyBuddy said, credit to your breeder. To me it shows care for the dog over the mighty $.
    • Agree Agree x 5
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  6. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Don’t waste your time feeling guilty.
    Your mature thoughts and actions showed you realized you were in over your head and the pup deserved something beyond what you could provide. Good on you for making that call.

    Raising a Doberman is a daunting task even in the right location and in experienced hands.
    Being a first time dobe owner even in the perfect living environment can be extremely challenging and often very frustrating for a new owner. This is where many are surrendered/ rehomed.

    With the energy level and high drive of my two, living in an apt style situation would have been a nightmare for them and me.
    As it is now I am constantly involved in training and exercise multiple times a day with them and they go to work with me so it is intense.

    I agree with what the others have said and as far as the breeder...I have concerns that they would allow a 4mo old to go with a first time doberman owner that lives in a multilevel apt.
    I do however give them credit for taking the puppy back.

    When you are able to change your living situation then I would start interviewing with ethical and reputable breeders to find a pup that would suit your lifestyle.
    Most ethical and reputable breeders will know how to select a pup for you.

    In the meantime read up on the forum about how to care for and raise a Doberman. This forum has a wealth of knowledge from puppyhood to senior Dobe that will help you when choosing your dream puppy, it’s nutritional and medical care, training and living in harmony with this extremely loyal and Velcro breed.

    Welcome to DCF!!
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Now that everyone has reassured you that you've done the right thing (and I agree too), I have a burning question :)
    Did all this really happen in one week? If so, then :spit: A Doberman puppy is pure chaos from the moment it arrives into your home, but 7 days doesn't even give you a TASTE of the mayhem they can cause :woot2: Consider yourself lucky you missed out on the Doberteen phase, and the part where you blame each other for having the dog, or when the dog eats your baseboards, or when the horse in your house gets the zoomies and thinks it's fun smashing into walls. Cheer up, it would have gotten way worse before it got any better :rofl:
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  8. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    And now tell him how you made it through all that, learned a few things and now wouldn't give him up for the world! :love::dobe::paw:
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    It took a lot of :martini: and :machinegun: to get here though :spit:
    • Funny Funny x 3
  10. t89

    t89 Novitiate

    Thank you all for giving me peace of mind! Very reassuring to know I made the best decision despite wanting back that little cute face. It was indeed a Doberman and, yes, it did all happen in the space of one week.

    I will do more reading on this forum about the breed and one day hope to change my living arrangements - ideally a house but if not definitely a bigger apartment on the first level and further out of town which has more available parks and open spaces. I will also look into seeing if my gf can go part time.

    Many thanks for the replies.

    Very best wishes

    Attached Files:

    • Appreciation Appreciation x 3
  11. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Absolutely adorable. I wish you luck! There are a few breeds I wish to have one day but my small yard is just not and option and off leash in public with them isn’t the smartest thing. Thankfully dobermans are good off leash dogs to make it manageable for me to have one.

  12. t89

    t89 Novitiate

    So we are looking at my partner working from home to look after a dog. Are we crazy to try and take this puppy back or should we start afresh with a new one? We were also thinking maybe it’s better to rehome an older dog.

    Thoughts please.

    I appreciate all of the other comments and know that if my partner is at home we can certainly make this work.
  13. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I guess it all depends on how willing the breeder is to give her back and if you're willing to put in the time and commitment. I definitely wouldn't start with a new one since this one already knows you somewhat.
  14. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Definitely your choice. Just keep in mind, even working from home may be a challenge. Yes it will make raising a puppy easier in some ways. However, these dobermans really need a lot of exercise. We give our guy off leash run time in a field pretty much daily, besides his yard play time. I wouldn’t own one if I didn’t have my own fenced yard, just for my own sanity.

    Don’t take this the wrong way- I would look into another breed that would be more content chilling in the apartment while your SO works.

    Does your area of places for off leash play (not a dog park)? If so, with daily workouts you can keep a content dobie inside an apartment imo.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $


    Dobermans are just so demanding. Even though I have everything just right, house, yard, time, support from children to help exercise- my monster still kicked my ass.

    To me, it was just like raising my first child. I was not ready for it. I learned a lot the hard way. I learned a lot through trial and error. It was exhausting everyday until prob when he turned around 1year and then it got easier.

    Would I change it? Absolutely not. He is most definitely part of the family.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. bomary

    bomary Hot Topics Subscriber

    You did the right thing for the baby. Learn from it and move on. It stinks, and I'm sure you fell in love in that short period of time. My Dad had 2 Dobes when I was growing up...Max and Jed. They were my running buddies and my best friends. As soon as I had a good job, etc., I wanted a Doberman, but....I realized that I needed to wait until I could have the space, the time, etc. to get that boy! I got him almost 5 years ago (I'll be 47 tomorrow, so it was a long wait!!..he was my dream dog all of my life) when I had a house, a yard, the time, the resources to do it right (though I didn't do it right re. breeder)...Lesson learned. You can think about a smaller dog that can thrive in an apartment environment, or you can just look forward to a time when you will have all of the things you need to have a Doberman. My gosh, my Jax was worth the wait!!
    Let go of guilt. Be glad that pup is in a safe place and thankful that the breeder took the baby back. Hopefully, the breeder will do more due diligence on finding out about living situation/previous ownership, etc. before putting the pup in another home...it's not something that everyone can do....not your fault...you should have been "warned," and good on you for realizing it just wasn't going to work...

    Plus...know that you have to buy a stroller!!
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    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  17. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    It’s still hilarious no matter how many times I see this :rofl: Just looks at the dogs face, he’s just eating it up all dressed up and riding in style :spit:
    • Agree Agree x 3

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